June 29, 2016
The unborn is not ‘living and breathing’?
Perhaps the pro-choice advocate means “living” in a different sense — a social or moral one. On this view, perhaps, the unborn does not yet possess the qualities necessary for the kind of “life” that is deserving of moral respect and protection. But it seems misleading to use the term “living” in this way, since we commonly use that term in the biological sense to describe living plants, animals, insects, etc.
In any case, one must explain what “living” in this moral/social sense actually means, and offer reasons to think that it serves as a valid criterion for having the right not to be intentionally killed. It is far from obvious that we may discriminate between members of the species Homo sapiens on the basis of age/development and acquired characteristics, permitting the killing of some but not others.
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